Concentrations of surface-dust metals in Native American jewelry-making homes in Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico. Academic Article uri icon


  • This pilot study was conducted to identify the metals used by home-based Native American jewelry makers, to quantify the metals in dust samples taken from jewelers' homes, and to compare these concentrations with background levels from control homes in which jewelry was not made. Participants were recruited from Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico. Surface dust samples were collected from the work and living areas of 20 jewelers' homes, and from the living areas of 20 control homes. Silver, copper, tin, boron, nickel, zinc, lead, and cadmium were significantly higher in work areas than in living areas of jewelry-making homes (p < or = 0.02). Silver, copper, nickel, and antimony were significantly higher in living areas of jewelers' homes compared with control homes (p < or = 0.04). Ventilation measures did not effectively reduce metal concentrations in jewelers' homes; concentrations in nonwork areas remained elevated.

publication date

  • May 2004